Simple Lifestyle Tweaks to Keep You and Your Baby Healthy
- August 23,2017
Pregnancy is the perfect time to put yourself first and to take this advice to heart: when you are taking care of yourself, you are taking care of your baby. It’s usually not necessary to completely overhaul your lifestyle, but it is a good idea to evaluate what you are doing to care for your mental and physical health. Often times, simple changes are all that are needed to ensure a healthy pregnancy for mom and baby. Here are a few lifestyle tweaks that are easy to make.
1) Drink plenty of water:
The volume of your blood increases up to 50% during pregnancy. This happens because blood supplies oxygen and other essential nutrients to your baby through the placenta. It also helps remove the waste and carbon dioxide from your body. Water plays an important role because it ensures the blood flow is smooth. While you are pregnant, extra water is needed to handle the extra work your body is doing to grow a baby.
Not only that, drinking water also helps prevent hemorrhoids, constipation, UTIs, headaches, fatigue, swelling and other harmful pregnancy symptoms.
Drink at least three liters (eight to 12 glasses) of water every day. Hate the idea of plain water? Add a splash of fruit juice or squeeze a lime or lemon for added flavor.
2) Make your calories count:
Consumption of nutrient-rich foods during pregnancy is important for ensuring healthy development of your baby. Fresh fruits and vegetables are key parts of a nutrient-rich, balanced diet as are foods that are low in refined sugar and high level in protein are recommended. Foods like whole grain toast topped with avocado and egg, chicken and beans, and veggie omelettes are a delicious part of a healthy meal plan.
3) Exercise every day:
As long as you have the go-ahead from your physician, keep moving during your pregnancy. Exercising 15-20 minutes daily not only boosts your mood, it improves your stamina during pregnancy and labor. Including exercise in your daily routine also provides you with several other health benefits: less back pain, improved sleep, and faster postpartum recovery. Keep going to your favorite workouts, just make sure you're hydrated and making adjustments to your workouts as your pregnancy progresses. Walks around your neighborhood, easy trail hikes and prenatal yoga classes are also great options.
4) Make sleep a priority:
According to the doctors, tiredness during pregnancy is a sign that you need to slow down. Try taking a nap during the day. If this isn't feasible, then get to bed as early as possible. Pregnant women need at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep at night.
5) Make new friends:
The support, resources and friendship of other pregnant women are essential during pregnancy and you're most likely to turn to these friends for support when your baby arrives. Join a childbirth class or an online forum to meet women who are expecting when you are or sign up for prenatal yoga classes. Whatever works best for you, do it. Friendships and a supportive community are crucial for your health.
6) Love yourself:
If this is your first baby, it can be easy to be a little scared. Don't let the unknown stress you out. Rather, focus on the fun things to help relieve the stress. Invest in a pair of super-soft maternity pajamas or a great pair of maternity jeans that make you feel beautiful. Get ideas for your nursery on Instagram and Pinterest or catch up on all the books you've been wanting to read.
7) Stay away from the “extras”:
This is the most common change pregnant women struggle with. Cut out the unnecessary work from your to-do list. Curate your To Do list so that you're not over doing it and that the things that you are doing make you happy. It's a great time to learn the power of saying "No."
Whatever tweaks you choose to make, we hope you will do so with the following in mind, taking care of yourself is not selfish.